Top-seeded Sixers, Jazz on brink after Hawks, Clippers win

LA Clippers guard Paul George shoots against Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic. (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)
1 / 2
LA Clippers guard Paul George shoots against Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic. (Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons shoots past Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
2 / 2
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons shoots past Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
Short Url
Updated 17 June 2021

Top-seeded Sixers, Jazz on brink after Hawks, Clippers win

Top-seeded Sixers, Jazz on brink after Hawks, Clippers win
  • Atlanta Hawks overturn 26-point second-half deficit but not enough to beat the Sixers in their Eastern Conference semifinal clash
  • Despite Kawhi Leonard's injury, Clippers toppled Utah Jazz 119-111 to seize a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference series

LOS ANGELES: The top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz were left on the brink of elimination from the NBA playoffs on Wednesday as the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers notched against-the-odds victories on the road.
In Philadelphia, Trae Young scored 39 points as Atlanta overturned a 26-point second-half deficit to lead the Hawks to a 109-106 defeat of the Sixers in their Eastern Conference semifinal clash.
The Clippers — rocked by an injury to star Kawhi Leonard earlier Wednesday — then toppled the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City by 119-111 to seize a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference series.
The results left the Sixers and Jazz one defeat away from elimination as they prepare to travel to Atlanta and Los Angeles for their respective game sixes.
Encouraged by a raucous home crowd, the Sixers appeared to be poised to claim a 3-2 advantage against the Hawks as they raced into a big lead in the second half.
But a magnificent Atlanta offensive performance led by Young saw the Hawks steadily chip away at the deficit.
Young nailed a floater to cut the Sixers’ lead to 104-102 before drawing a foul to earn three free throws which he promptly drained to give the Hawks their first lead of the game at 105-104 with 1:26 remaining.
Danilo Gallinari’s fadeaway put Atlanta 107-104 ahead and the Sixers’ fate was sealed when Joel Embiid missed two late free throws that could have put Philadelphia back within striking distance.
The Hawks can clinch a series victory in front of their home fans on Friday when game six heads back to Georgia.
“We just kept fighting,” Young said afterwards. “We have confidence in each other. We’re a great group, good to be around.
“We all love you to each other’s company and it shows on the court and we never stopped believing until the final buzzer.”That belief has left the fifth-seeded Hawks now on the brink of a place in the Eastern Conference finals, a remarkable turnaround for a team that axed head coach Lloyd Pierce on March 1.
Philadelphia, who piled on 38 points in the first quarter alone, were led by Embiid with 37 points while Seth Curry had 36 points. No other Philadelphia player made double figures.
“We struggled down the stretch,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said.
“We scored 19 points, and gave up 40. It’s on us, it’s on all of us, it’s on me. We have to figure out how to get back up — which we will — and bring this series back here for a game seven.”
In Salt Lake City, Paul George was the hero as the Clippers stunned the Jazz to move within one win of the Western Conference finals.
The Clippers’ day began with news that Kawhi Leonard faces missing the remainder of the series — and possibly the postseason — after suffering a knee injury in game four.
But George responded with a masterful 37-point display which included 16 rebounds and five assists. Marcus Morris added 25 points while Reggie Jackson chipped in with 21.
“This was the biggest game of the postseason, especially being down our best player,” George said afterwards.
“We knew coming into this, we had to play together, we had to step up. We did a great job playing collectively.”
George praised his teammates for soaking up an early barrage from Utah, who opened up a 10-point lead in the second quarter.
“We didn’t overreact,” George said. “They came out hot. Good thing about it was we were able to weather the storm.”
The series now returns to Los Angeles on Friday, where a win for the Clippers will see Utah eliminated.
“We just got to go into it with the mindset that we don’t want to come back to Utah,” George said.
Bojan Bogdanovic led Utah’s scorers with 32 points, while Donovan Mitchell was held to 21, making just four from 14 attempts from three-point range.


Tickets for F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix now on sale

Tickets for the inaugural Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are now on sale. (Supplied)
Tickets for the inaugural Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are now on sale. (Supplied)
Updated 25 July 2021

Tickets for F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix now on sale

Tickets for the inaugural Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are now on sale. (Supplied)
  • Initially, 40 percent of the tickets will be released
  • All ticket holders will also gain access to the festivals and live concerts

LONDON: Tickets for the inaugural Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix are now on sale now for fans in the Kingdom and fans living abroad, it was announced on Sunday.

The first ever F1 race taking place in Saudi Arabia will be run around the Jeddah Circuit on the weekend of December 3 to 5.

Initially, 40 percent of the tickets will be released, with hopes of increasing to full capacity over time, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sports, announced the opening of ticket sales and thanked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his continued support for bringing major sporting events to the Kingdom.

“We will prove to the whole world — God willing and with ambitious leadership — that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has become an exceptional home to the most prestigious racing series in the world, and we look forward to presenting an unforgettable race for all motorsport lovers and enthusiasts, whether those watching at the track or on TV screens,” he said.

“Today we mark a new step on our way to hosting the first Formula 1 race in the Kingdom, as we enter the most exciting stages of hosting the event,” Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, said.

“We look forward to experiencing a great race in the latest, fastest and longest street circuit in Formula 1, in addition to various types of entertainment over three days outside the circuit,” he added.

F1 fans will be able to choose from three types of ticket: Paddock Club, Premium Hospitality and Grandstand, with package prices starting at SR1,800 ($480).

Grandstand tickets will allow fans to see the start and finish line as well as the hyper-fast final section of the track, while Premium Hospitality tickets give you a fuller racing experience with the best views of the racing action.

Fans can also visit the F1 Paddock Club to enjoy the race weekend in style in the Pit and Team Building overlooking the Red Sea coastline. 

All ticket holders will also gain access to the festivals and live concerts taking place across the circuit and F1 Fanzone.


UAE shooter Saif Bin Futais aiming to improve on Olympic best at Tokyo 

UAE shooter Saif Bin Futais aiming to improve on Olympic best at Tokyo 
Updated 25 July 2021

UAE shooter Saif Bin Futais aiming to improve on Olympic best at Tokyo 

UAE shooter Saif Bin Futais aiming to improve on Olympic best at Tokyo 
  • The 47-year-old Emirati finished 29th in the Men’s Skeet at Rio 2016

TOKYO: Emirati shooter Saif Bin Futais racked up 70 points in the three rounds of Tokyo 2020’s Skeet Men’s qualification on the first day of the event, held at Asaka Shooting Range in the Japanese capital.

It was performance equalled by 30 other participants, while French shooter Eric Delaunay and US shooter Hancock Finkett tied for first place with 75 points. Tammaro Cassandro of Italy and Jacub Tomecek of the Czech Republic followed, scoring 74 points each.

Each shooter was involved in three rounds of 25 attempts.

Bin Futais, 47, is taking part in his second Olympic games having finished in 29th place in the Skeet Men’s competition at Rio 2016.

Among the other Arab shooters taking part in the event are Saudi Arabian Saeed Al-Mutairi who clocked up 71 points, and Abdullah Al-Rashidi of Kuwait, who finished the day tied in sixth place.

The competition resumes on Monday morning, from 4:00 a.m. in Riyadh time, with a further two rounds for each of the competitors.


Pandemic-hit IPL to resume on Sept. 19 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah

Under the new schedule, 13 IPL matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi. (Twitter: @IPL/File Photo)
Under the new schedule, 13 IPL matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi. (Twitter: @IPL/File Photo)
Updated 25 July 2021

Pandemic-hit IPL to resume on Sept. 19 in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah

Under the new schedule, 13 IPL matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi. (Twitter: @IPL/File Photo)
  • The tournament was only half finished when it was halted in India on May 4 due to COVID-19

NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League, the world's richest cricket tournament, will resume in the UAE on September 19, more than four months after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Sunday.

“A total number of 31 matches will be played in the duration of 27 days,” said a statement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the pandemic, will resume on 19th September in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.”

The tournament was only half finished when it was halted in India on May 4 after a number of players and team officials caught coronavirus despite being in bio-secure bubbles.

Under the new schedule, 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi.

The final will be staged in Dubai on October 15, just two days before the rescheduled Twenty20 World Cup gets underway, also in the Gulf.

In the new-look IPL, there will be seven double headers.

The final game of the league stage will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals on October 8.

The first qualifier will be played in Dubai on October 10 with the eliminator qualifier 2 to be played in Sharjah on October 11 and 13.

The World T20 was originally meant to take place in Australia at the end of 2020 but it was called off as the pandemic swept across the globe causing widescale lockdowns.

It was then switched to India before it was rescheduled again to be staged in Oman and the United Arab Emirates from October 17 to November 14.

The BCCI remains the ‘host’ of the World T20 but the competition will now be held across four venues — the Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.


Syrian athlete brothers separated by war hug at Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Alaa Maso from the Refugee Olympic Team — who will be competing in the men’s swimming — was photographed embracing his brother Mohamed Maso, who is competing in the triathlon. (Screenshot)
Alaa Maso from the Refugee Olympic Team — who will be competing in the men’s swimming — was photographed embracing his brother Mohamed Maso, who is competing in the triathlon. (Screenshot)
Updated 25 July 2021

Syrian athlete brothers separated by war hug at Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Alaa Maso from the Refugee Olympic Team — who will be competing in the men’s swimming — was photographed embracing his brother Mohamed Maso, who is competing in the triathlon. (Screenshot)
  • Both brothers, originally from the city of Aleppo in Syria, now live in Germany

DUBAI: A picture of two Syrian brothers — one representing the Olympic refugee team, the other the Syrian team — hugging on the sidelines of the Tokyo Games has been circulating on social media.

Many praised the image, with one Twitter user saying: “The most beautiful image from the #OpeningCeremony are the two #Syrian brothers, who were reunited.” Others called it “surreal.”

Alaa Maso from the Refugee Olympic Team — who will be competing in the men’s swimming — was photographed embracing his brother Mohamed Maso, who is competing in the triathlon.

Both brothers, originally from the city of Aleppo in Syria, now live in Germany.

Alaa left Syria in 2015 and resettled in Germany after his training facilities were damaged during fighting, according to his profile on the International Olympic Committee website. 

His brother Mohamed also fled the war in Syria for Europe in 2015. During his journey to Europe, “his Syrian triathlon suit and running shoes” were in his backpack, his profile read.

Alaa will also be competing alongside another Syrian refugee swimmer, Yusra Mardini.

About half a million people have been killed in Syria and millions more forced to flee their homes since anti-government protests in 2011 led to a deadly war.


Defensive mistakes cost Saudi Arabia dear in 3-2 loss to Germany

The defeat means Saudi Arabia, with no points from two matches, will depart Tokyo 2020 after the final clash against Brazil on Wednesday. (Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee)
The defeat means Saudi Arabia, with no points from two matches, will depart Tokyo 2020 after the final clash against Brazil on Wednesday. (Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee)
Updated 25 July 2021

Defensive mistakes cost Saudi Arabia dear in 3-2 loss to Germany

The defeat means Saudi Arabia, with no points from two matches, will depart Tokyo 2020 after the final clash against Brazil on Wednesday. (Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee)
  • 10-man Germany knock Saad Al-Shehri’s team out of Tokyo 2020 football tournament

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia put on an excellent display of attacking football only to fall 3-2 to 10-man Germany thanks to several defensive mistakes in the Group D match at Yokohama International Stadium.

The defeat means Saudi Arabia, with no points from two matches, will depart Tokyo 2020 after the final clash against Brazil on Wednesday.

Ragnar Ache should have given Germany the lead after only three minutes but headed wide when the goal was at his mercy. In the next two minutes Al-Rubaie saved smartly from Eduard Lowen and Max Kruse as Germany piled on the pressure.

In the sixth minute, Abdullah Al-Hamdan thought he had given Saudi Arabia the lead when he finished smartly after collecting Salem Al-Dossary’s cross, but his effort was disallowed for handball. It looked a very harsh decision, and it would not be the only time in the match the Saudis would be aggrieved by the officials.

Saudi players suddenly looked lively and started stretching the German back line, with Yasser Al-Shahrani in particular causing trouble down the left flank.

But 11 minutes into the match, a wonderful passing move was finished off by Nadiem Amiri of Bayer Leverkusen for his second goal of the tournament.

Saudi Arabia should have levelled when Al-Hamdan’s deft pass found Sami Al-Najei free in the German penalty box, but his shot cleared the bar wastefully.

The young Falcons, however, would not be denied on the half hour when Al-Dossary’s shot was parried by German goalkeeper Florian Muller into the path of Al-Najei, who tapped from close range for a deserved equalizer.

While the Saudis were showing great ambition in attack, Germany consistently looked dangerous on the break and Al-Rubaie had to save smartly from Cedric Teuchert seven minutes before the break.

On the stroke of half time, Germany retook the lead when Amos Pieper’s brilliant pass was met on the volley by Ache, and though Al-Rubaie saved yet again, the Eintracht Frankfurt forward reacted the quickest to stab home the rebound.

It was harsh on the Saudis, who had more than held their own in the first half.

Just five minutes after the break, the Saudis were level again thanks to arguably their best move of the match, which culminated with Saud Abdulhamid’s cross brilliantly turned in by Al-Najei.

A superb run by Al-Shahrani minutes later was almost finished by Al-Dossary but Muller stood firm. The Germans were rocking but in the blink of an eye could have taken the lead after another excellent team move saw Amiri shoot wide.

On 65 minutes, Al-Dossary almost scored with a carbon copy of his effort against Ivory Coast, but the ball flew just wide of Muller’s lefthand post.

Saad Al-Shehri’s team was given a huge boost when Pieper was sent off, with some help from VAR, for a blatant trip on the excellent Al-Dossary.

Despite the disadvantage, Germany took the lead with 15 minutes left when substitute Felix Uduokhai headed Kruse’s corner firmly past Al-Rubaie. The match could have been put to bed several time but Ache in particular was wasteful.

Al-Dossary had another golden chance to score Saudi Arabia’s third goal on 88 minutes from a tight angle, but Muller saved well with his legs.

It would prove the last big chance of the match, and the final whistle saw the disappointed Saudi players sink to their knees.